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MINERVA PEDIATRICA

A Journal on Pediatrics, Neonatology, Adolescent Medicine,
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry


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RELATIONS  9th NATIONAL CONGRESS OF THE SOCIETÀ ITALIANA DI MEDICINA DELL'ADOLESCENZA - Catanzaro, October 24-26, 2002


Minerva Pediatrica 2002 December;54(6):525-38

Copyright © 2002 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: Italian

Dysmenorrhea, endometriosis and premestrual syndrome

Tonini G.


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Dysmenorrhea is the most frequent gynaecological problem in adolescent girls (the prevalence is 80-90%). Genetic influence, style of life (diet and physical activity) social, economical and cultural factors can affect symptoms. Prostaglandins and leucotrienes produced by endometrium, abnormal uterine smooth muscle contractility and modifications of the local blood flow are responsible for abdominal pain. Frequently daily activities are negatively affected (missing time at school) dysmenorrhoea can be primary or secondary to anatomical anomalies of internal genitalia or presence of synechie (post surgery or inflammatory pelvic diseases). Therapy may consist of traditional medicine (relaxing techniques such as yoga, agopuncture, mild analgesic drugs or more effective FANS). In case of therapeutical failure, contraceptive and/or GnRH agonists can represent the last choice. Endometriosis is less frequent, etiopatogenesis is not completely understood, but the anatomical lesions consist of an oestrogen-dependent neo-angiogenesis. Oestrogen inhibitors, oral contraceptives or GnRH agonists may be useful in treating this pathology. In case of drug failure surgery is suggested. For the effective diagnosis laparoscopy and biopsy are absolutely necessary. Premenstrual syndrome is cyclical, extremely complex, unusual in adolescent girls, sometimes associated to pre-existent psychic disorders. It can be treated with symptomatic drugs or, more recently, using drugs that alter the levels of serotonin, but their use in the adolescent patient is not yet recommended.

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